Master Facilitator Journal, the ezine for facilitators.  


Skill of the Week


Home | Skill of the Week | Archives | Resources | Forums | Advertising
Life Coaching | About Us | Contact Us
| Subscribe


Click Here
to Learn About this Workshop That Will Help You Find and Follow An Authentic Life.

Click here
to read about this new teleclass. Self-Guided Real Audio Version Now Available.

Click here
to learn more about a new Virtual University for Facilitators.

Click Here
to View 
Table of Contents
. Reseller rights available!

The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0088 | February 18, 2003
5,500 Subscribers

picture of Steve Davis, editor of the Master Facilitator Journal.

From the Publisher: 

Hello MFJ Readers. 

This issue is dedicated to my friend and mentor, Thomas Leonard, who passed away last Tuesday. Much of my inspiration and technological know-how behind this journal is a direct result of his tutelage and encouragement. I will miss him as will the Coaching industry. He was a generous and creative genius, living his passion and his calling to the fullest.

Last week, his passing prompted in me the impulse to stop to ask some serious questions, "Is what I'm doing really what I need to be doing?...What I want to be doing? Am I avoiding my true calling by staying busy with practical pursuits? If someone so young and vital can be here one day and gone the next, am I living my life such that it is complete enough for me to die tomorrow?" These questions have raised for me the importance of the issue I spoke about in last Tuesday's journal, on the day of Thomas' death, the issue of "Callings."

Consequently, this short issue revolves around these questions. I have also rescheduled our free one-hour teleclass with Gregg Levoy,
the author of "Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life," to Thursday, Feb. 20th, at 7 pm EST. See details below. Please do attend if you can, as this is a unique opportunity to meet Gregg, a very dynamic author and speaker, to discuss this issue, so pressing to so many today.

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email your ideas. I'd love to hear from you.

Steve Davis

Intervention Skill

Perform the Occasional "Patternus Interruptus"
Don't be afraid to yell "stop!" to realign your group (or yourself) to the fullness of its purpose.

The Point

There are many times during our work with groups where it's appropriate to resist the momentum of the group, to stop and look at the bigger picture, the "gestalt" of the group dynamic. Groups and individuals tend to follow habitual patterns of behavior that they've grown comfortable with, often simply out of habit.

As a facilitator, be on guard for patterns of behavior that are begging to be interrupted, and mine them for richer possibilities.


Here are some examples of opportunities to stop and dig deeper.

- Settling. The group is settling for a marginal result to just "get it done," when they actually have the time, resources, and the opportunity to build a brilliant result by digging just a bit deeper, risking a little more, and stretching themselves a bit.

- Conflict avoidance. Group members are withholding their truth to avoid potential conflict among group members. Use effective conflict resolution methods to turn this pungent soil so that something more beautiful can grow from it.

- Business as usual. The group is getting things done in a way that tends to always work for them, but their process lacks "juice." Mix up the room and the process. Get people to change position, play different roles, try a different process, just to move into unexplored territory to see what emerges. Facilitate exploration, just for the fun of it.

- Superficial focus. The group looks like they're on course, but it appears they may be operating on superficial assumptions or goals. Take time to help them look at the bigger reason for being together. Are they operating in accordance with their higher purpose, vision, mission?

- Stale mental maps. Group is operating based on worn out assumptions about themselves. They may be fixated on solving a cost problem when they could be focused on creating new revenue. They could be stuck on what's not working rather than building and expanding on what is working. 

- More? Please email us other examples you're run across in your experience.


Is there an area of your life that deserves a pattern interrupt? That is, a behavior pattern that is not as effective as it could be that you've been reluctant to stop and look at?  If so, why not take ten minutes right now and journal about it? I'd love to hear what shows up for you. Please email us your comments.

Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, by Gregg Levoy

How do we know if we're following our true callings? How do we sharpen our senses to cut through the distractions of everyday reality and hear the calls that are beckoning us?

Callings is the first book to examine the many kinds of calls we receive and the great variety of channels through which they come to us. A calling may be to do something (change careers, go back to school, have a child) or to be something (more creative, less judgmental, more loving). While honoring a calling's essential mystery, this book also guides readers to ask and answer the fundamental questions that arise from any calling: How do we recognize it? How do we distinguish the true call from the siren song? How do we handle our resistance to a call? What happens when we say yes? What happens when we say no?

Callings is a compassionate guide to discovering your own callings and negotiating the tight passages to personal power and authenticity.

cartoon image of a talking man.

Reader Survey 

What is your calling? 

What is your calling? If you've found it, please send it to me in the form of  a short paragraph to ../contact.html and I'll share with you all the inputs received. 

If you know someone who might benefit and enjoy this newsletter, please send this link to a friend.

About the Author
Steve Davis is a Facilitator's Coach helping leaders enhance their effectiveness through the application and perspective of facilitation. Please email or call me at 805-489-4130 to schedule a Free exploratory session, or to share your suggestions and ideas for the journal. I'd love to hear from you. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends. Thanks for reading!

In the Spotlight


Have you answered the call?

Join us for a Free one-hour Tele-Discussion with Gregg Levoy, 
the Author of "Callings--Finding and Following an Authentic Life."

Learn more about the concept of "Callings" for your own personal development, or to learn new ways to support your clients with this challenge. We'll seek to answer questions like:
  • What are Callings?
  • How do we identify them?
  • How do we invoke them?
  • How do we identify and answer the calling of a group? 
  • How do we distinguish a true call, from ego noise?
  • How can we be certain of our calling?
  • How do we deal with the inevitable fear that stands between us and acting on our call?

Join us for a free one-hour Tele Discussion with Callings Author Gregg Levoy that may just answer some of these questions for you. This is part of our new continuing teleclass series sponsored by

Registration. This tele-discussion will be held at 7 PM EST on Thursday, February 20th. Please click here and press "Send" to register You'll receive an automatic response, secure your spot for this call register, and receive call-in information. Please pass this on to friends whom you think may be interested in this topic. And please register promptly, as the bridge handles only a limited number of callers. 

Steve Davis
Publisher, MFJ


... Jan Allen, Debbie Phillips, Rob Berkley, and Steve Davis


with acclaimed author
Gregg Levoy

A one-day workshop to make your life literally "come true."

Saturday, March 29, 2003
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Hartman on Main
150 E. Main St.
Columbus, Ohio

"Gregg has a dynamic understanding of the link between passion and purpose as the motivating agent in creative work, and in engagement in the workplace."
Deborah Jacroux
Microsoft, Work/Life Dept

"Gregg's presentation is life-changing."
Tracie Thomas

"CALLINGS can help you discover your true vocation and help you hear the still small voice that calls you by name."
Sam Keen, Ph.D., Author of Fire in the Belly and Hymns to an Unknown God

Click Here for Complete Details and Registration.

Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on February 25, 2003.   

Home | About Us | Skill of the Week | Forums | Archives | Advertising
Resources | Life Coaching | Contact Us | Subscribe

Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved.